Fresh from a 35/1 finalist in Den Bosch, Andy Schooler is back with tennis betting tips for this week’s ATP events at Queen’s Club and Halle.

 

Fever-Tree Championships

Queen’s Club, London, England (outdoor grass)

Five-time winner Andy Murray will be making plenty of headlines at Queen’s Club this week as he makes his latest injury comeback.

That will only be in the doubles draw but that doesn’t mean the home fans will necessarily be starved of singles success.

Dan Evans is already bedded in on grass having played Challenger Tour events in Surbiton and Nottingham over the past fortnight and with a decent draw, the ‘bad boy of British tennis’ is worth a punt at 50/1.

Evans won the title in Surbiton, beating Marius Copil and Viktor Troicki – no mugs on this surface – in the last two rounds, while at time of writing he’s made it to the semis of the rain-hit event in Nottingham.

All this comes off the back of a solid season to date, one which saw him reach his second ATP Tour final in Delray Beach where top-10 star John Isner and Frances Tiafoe – a potential second-round opponent here – were among his victims.

 

Admittedly Evans faces a tough first-round test – he’s up against three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka.

 

Anderson returns

However, while Wawrinka played impressively to reach the last eight at Roland Garros, this will be his first match since then, hence his first on grass this season, and the surface has always been his weakest.

He did make the semis here in 2014 but since he’s gone 2-4 at Queen’s and Evans is far from his ideal draw – remember the Briton held match point against the Swiss during his 2016 US Open title run.

If Evans does pull off the upset, the rest of his quarter looks decent. It’s led by Kevin Anderson but last year’s Wimbledon runner-up will be playing his first tournament since March following injury.

He’s strong on grass but it’s asking a lot for him to go deep and odds of 7/1 look as skinny as the gangly South African.

In terms of the entire bottom half, Marin Cilic looks the one to beat again. The defending champion has played in four finals here, winning two.

However, he’s not been at his best this season and he also has a tricky opener against rising star Cristian Garin, who transferred his excellent claycourt form onto the grass in Den Bosch last week.

The enigmatic Daniil Medvedev, another I considered, could also offer a real threat should they meet in the last eight.

Juan Martin Del Potro can lift the Queen's trophy for the first time

With this in mind, the player I’m backing from the top of the market is Juan Martin Del Potro.

He’s well drawn in the second quarter, one which could well be shorn of seed Milos Raonic by the time the action gets under way on Monday – the Canadian withdrew from his scheduled semi-final in Stuttgart on Saturday citing a lower back injury. That’s not good given he’s reliant on serve.

His section looks very winnable with possibly 2017 champion Feliciano Lopez his biggest threat, but the Spaniard has struggled this season, posting only three wins thus far. I considered him as an outsider at 50s but he’s lost too many tight matches this year – he’ll need to win tie-breaks (as he did in 2017) if he’s to go far here.

 

Tsitsipas could struggle

According to the seedings, Stefanos Tsitsipas should be waiting for Del Potro in the semi-finals but I’d say that’s far from certain given the top seed is in a tricky quarter and lost his first match of the grasscourt season in Den Bosch last week.

Del Potro has only played 11 matches so far this season (winning seven) but he looked in good nick at the French Open and a move onto the grass shouldn’t be too problematic.

The popular Argentine is yet to reach a final on grass but he has proven he can compete with the very best on the surface – he’s suffered nailbiting defeats to Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at Wimbledon in the past (the latter being during the 2012 Olympics).

With the crowd behind him, Del Potro looks more than capable of challenging here and I’m happy to back him at 6/1.

Tips:

Juan Martin Del Potro to win –

Dan Evans each-way –

 

Noventi Open

Halle, Germany (outdoor grass)

Tournament organisers welcomed Roger Federer ‘home’ on Saturday when he arrived in Halle and given he’s won nine titles here, you can understand why.

You can also understand why he’s odds-on to win a 10th. There may be five other members of the top 20 in attendance, but none can hold a flame to Federer’s record on grass.

However, there’s no way I want to back him at 10/11 and here’s why.

The last two times Federer has stepped off the clay and onto the Halle grass, he’s been close to a major upset.

Back in 2014 he had to fight back from a set down to the unheralded Joao Sousa, while a year later he needed a final-set tie-break to scrape past Philipp Kohlschreiber.

In 2016 he made the clay-to-grass transition a week earlier in Stuttgart and again required three sets to win his opening match of the grasscourt season (v Taylor Fritz).

Switzerland's Roger Federer reacts as he plays against Spain's Rafael Nadal during their men's singles semi-final match on day 13 of The Roland Garros 2019 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on June 7, 2019. (Photo by Thomas SAMSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/Getty Images)

In addition, in 2017 he lost his opening grasscourt match to Tommy Haas in Stuttgart, while last season he found himself a set down to Mischa Zverev at the same venue. On both of these occasions he hadn’t played in almost three months having skipped the clay season.

This evidence suggests opposing Federer on the handicaps in round one is a decent play – one which looks even stronger when you consider he’s drawn John Millman, the player who knocked him out of last year’s US Open.

 

Borna Coric

With the prices as they are, I can’t resist opposing Federer in the outright betting too with Borna Coric an eyecatching 22/1.

While Federer will probably be at his most vulnerable early on, it’s also worth noting that he lost in last year’s final to Coric, this coming two years after a semi-final loss to Alex Zverev. That makes his recent title return here a not-so-good-looking 1-from-3.

Unlike Federer, Coric already has his grasscourt shoes worn in having played in Den Bosch over the past week – at time of writing his semi-final had been suspended in a final-set tie-break.

The Croat looks to have received a good draw with Gael Monfils his biggest threat before the semis (and a possible rematch with Federer, whom he also beat on the fast Shanghai courts last autumn).

With Federer potentially vulnerable, Coric looks worth a small bet.

 

Matt Ebden

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 28: Matthew Ebden of Australia during his mens singles first round match against Gregoire Barrere of France during Day three of the 2019 French Open at Roland Garros on May 28, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

The same can be said of Matt Ebden in the bottom half of the draw.

The aforementioned Zverev, winner here in 2016 and runner-up the following year, is the man seeded to reach the final but his season-long struggles continued last week when he took a wild card into Stuttgart and duly lost his opening match to Dustin Brown.

Given his form, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the home hope lose to Robin Haase first up or Steve Johnson or Philipp Kohlschreiber in round two and he certainly warrants opposing.

I’ll do so with Ebden, who has a decent record on this surface thanks to his ability to attack the net.

He made the quarter-finals here 12 months ago, a week after reaching the semis in Den Bosch, while his only tour-level final also came on grass (in Newport in 2017).

In this run-up to Wimbledon period, he’s also won Challenger titles in Surbiton (where he made the last eight a couple of weeks ago) and Nottingham in the past.

 

Worth the risk

Admittedly I’m very much relying on his propensity for the surface as his form this season has been poor, but the Australian doesn’t get to play on fast surfaces too often these days and it’s notable that he played his best tennis of last season in Shanghai where it’s pretty quick.

He’ll start here against Radu Albot and as long as he wins that he’ll meet David Goffin or Guido Pella, probably the former – a player he thrashed in straight sets at Wimbledon last season.

At 45/1, of course there’s plenty of risk involved, but it looks worth taking.

Tips:

Borna Coric each-way –

Matt Ebden each-way –

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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